Contact Congress

SAM 2

How do I contact my members of Congress?

Who are my members of Congress? How do I find out?

Contact your member of Congress and let them know you support comprehensive immigration reform by writing letters or emails, sending a fax or calling:

To find out who your representative and 2 senators are — http://whoismyrepresentative.com/

To go directly to your representative’s website to send them a direct email – https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

To go directly to your Senator’s webmail – http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

 

Justice for Immigrants tool with sample letters (as well as information on current national legislative and public policy objectives)

www.justiceforimmigrants.org/action.html

Send a Justice for Immigrants postcard (click on the below and follow the instructions)

http://www.capwiz.com/justiceforimmigrants/issues/alert/?alertid=14503781&type=CO

 

Make a phone call

A letter is more powerful than a phone call, but both help!

When you call Congress offices, it often helps to have key points written down before the call so you do not inadvertently miss anything. When you call, you will be speaking with the receptionist in your member of Congress’s office.  He/she may transfer you to your member’s staffer who handles immigration issues.  Most likely you will leave a message, but sometimes the staffers do answer the phone, so be prepared either way.

Sample phone script:

Hello. My name is ___________, and I live in (name city or district).  I would like to speak with the Senator/Representative about (name bill, bill number, issue, etc.)

 

Write a letter or e-mail

People who think members of Congress pay little or no attention to constituent mail are plain wrong! Concise, well thought out personal letters are one of the most effective ways we have of influencing law-makers.  However, members of Congress get hundreds of letters and emails every day.  Whether you choose to use snail mail, fax or email, here are some tips that will help your letter have impact.

An effective letter to Congress needs only 3 things:

  1. Write your name and address on the letter and on the envelope. Members of Congress want to know that you are one of the people they represent.
  2. Ask for specific action from Congress. Use the sentence below or your own words. For example: “I ask you to support the bill (name bill) introduced in Congress in January 2014.” Or “I ask you to consider those who do not have a voice in this matter because they are children. Please support children of undocumented migrants.”
  3. Give a reason. Barack Obama’s favorite phrase is “I received a letter from…” What moves him to talk about these letters? Your story. Your reason. Your impetus for writing. Say something about your motivation and/or state a fact.

For example:

  • In the United States, 35 million people live in families that struggle to put food on the table. Some of the poorest areas in the country are rural.
  • Our current farm policy provides large dividends to corporations but little to family farmers.

Other points to consider:

  • State your purpose for writing in the first sentence of the letter
  • If a certain bill is involved, cite the correct title or number. You can find it on http://www.thomas.gov
  • When referencing a bill in the Senate, it’s S.# (i.e S.5555). In the House, it’s H.R.5555
  • Be courteous
  • State any professional credentials or personal experience you may have, especially those pertaining to the subject of your letter.
  • Address only one issue in each email or letter
  • Keep your letter short – one page is best
  • Use specific examples or evidence to support your position.
  • Close your letter with a restatement of your purpose and indicate the response you expect.

 

Addressing Members of Congress

Use these addresses in email messages as well as snail mail or faxed letters.

Letter to your Senator          

Senator (full name)
(Room #) (Name) Senate Office Building                  
Washington, DC 20510                                              

Dear Senator:

Letter to your Representative

Representative (full name)
(Room #) (Name) House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative:

Click here for a sample letter.